On Friday, Dec. 16th, students graduating from the University of New Mexico will celebrate the culmination of their undergraduate careers at The Pit for the fall 2022 commencement ceremony. “It's something that (graduating students) should be proud (of) … It's a huge accomplishment,” Nancy Middlebrook, the University secretary, said. This semester’s ceremony includes the traditional welcome by UNM President Garnett Stokes, as well as greetings from the Board of Regents, Associated Students at UNM President Ian May, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association President Shaikh Ahmad. The ceremony will finalize with a performance by Mariachi Tenampa.
On Monday, Dec. 5, the Albuquerque City Council passed an ordinance on a 5-4 vote to effectively stop zoning privileges and new proposals for the creation of safe outdoor spaces, an initiative to create dedicated spaces for the unhoused to temporarily stay at and receive social service support. The Integrated Development Ordinance determines land use and establishes zoning regulations in the city of Albuquerque. This passage would remove all reference of safe outdoor spaces from the IDO, stopping future development of SOS in the city, though the two SOS that have already been approved and the three pending approval will still move forward.
This story was originally published by Source New Mexico State Police in riot gear showed up at the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico during a peaceful protest and detained three protesters of color on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The protest was held in response to Turning Point USA’s UNM chapter hosting a speaking event on campus with Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of the national conservative group.
The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico voted to approve a resolution calling for an increase in funding for the UNM Police Department during their last full senate meeting on Wednesday, November 30. The approval comes in the wake of a deadly shooting that took place on UNM campus resulting in the death of two students.
This story was originally published by Source New Mexico The realities of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs were close to home for many in Albuquerque, and people gathered in Morningside Park on Tuesday evening to grieve the lives lost in the queer bar. Several people knew people at the club on Saturday, Nov. 19, and many at the vigil frequented it themselves.
The city’s Animal Welfare Department will now be directed to donate animal tissue from spay-and-neuter clinics to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center for biomedical research, after a resolution unanimously passed during the Monday, Nov. 21 Albuquerque City Council meeting. This tissue will be used to create in-vitro culture models with the intention of reducing the number of animals used in laboratory testing. Dr. Xiaozhong Yu, a professor at the UNM College of Nursing, said that they have been working at UNM to develop and validate methods for using in-vitro models as a substitute for animal testing.
Losers, rejoice — in a move sure to be celebrated by the worst men you know, Elon Musk completed his long-threatened acquisition of social media platform Twitter on Oct. 27, bringing with it changes that have prompted many users and staff members to finally call it quits. Verification overhaul, content moderation changes and more are all on the table and have already altered user experience nearly beyond repair. With Twitter going through rapid change, now is the time to leave it behind for good and move on to greener, less awful pastures.
On Saturday, Nov. 19 a University of New Mexico student was killed and a New Mexico State University student was shot and injured in an altercation that resulted in a shooting at approximately 3 a.m. in the parking lot of Coronado Hall, a UNM dormitory. The shooting occurred when 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis and three other conspirators lured NMSU basketball player Mike Peake on campus to assault him. Travis then confronted Peake with a gun and shot him. Peake, who was also carrying a gun, then shot Travis, according to a press release from the New Mexico State Police. Travis was pronounced dead at the scene and Peake was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
The Graduate and Professional Student Association of the University of New Mexico showed their support for the United Graduate Workers of UNM through a joint resolution, which was adopted on Saturday, Oct. 29. Joint Resolution 1F advises UNM to tackle various issues that affect graduate students at UNM and are still in negotiation between the Union and the University. “For us, this means that we want to uplift the voices of our constituents. I believe as a minority-serving R1 institution, we carry a shared responsibility to support marginalized demographics in pursuit of Higher Education,” Shaikh Ahmad, GPSA president, said.
The evening of Thursday, Nov. 17, Professor Ernesto Longa, a University of New Mexico law librarian, discussed the data he collected surrounding the frequency and circumstances of the arrests of unhoused individuals in Albuquerque. Dozens of community members gathered in the Student Union Building for a lecture held by Salt of the Earth School, in tandem with Students for Socialism. “The statistical summary and key points provided today are based on an inspection of nearly 2,000 misdemeanor felony cases which were filed against 867 unhoused individuals in 2020,” Longa said.
Social media became a point of high contention during the recent election, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, The Daily Lobo talked to three students at the University of New Mexico and they all agreed that while not personally influencing their vote, it did impact the election, mainly leading to a disinterest in politics and a negative impact on their mental health. Brandon Montoya said social media did not influence his vote because of his preexisting knowledge of politics, but that he did believe it could have influenced people who were undecided or less informed.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Gail Rosenblum, a journalist and alumnus of the University of New Mexico, visited the communications and journalism department to talk about a new form of journalism — solutions journalism — that Rosenblum has been incorporating in her work. Rosenblum is currently the editor of the weekly “Inspired” section in the Minneapolis Star Tribune where she aims to focus on the hope, optimism and solution stories, according to The Loft. Solutions journalism is a way of approaching the news by focusing on the responses to social issues as well as the problems themselves. The topics can range from racial equity to climate change, according to Medium.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the United Graduate Workers of the University of New Mexico held a picket starting at the intersection of Las Lomas Road and Yale Boulevard in front of Dane Smith Hall at UNM and then marched to spread petitions across Scholes Hall. The Union called for the University to come to an agreement by their last scheduled bargaining meeting on Dec. 7 so they can finalize a contract. The Union has been at the bargaining table with the University since early May 2022. After recent bargaining sessions, the Union is working toward better healthcare coverage, raises and coverage of parking costs, among other topics.
On Monday, Nov. 7, the Albuquerque City Council unanimously deferred an ordinance which would end the current zero-fare bus program and replace it with a bus pass model. The ordinance will be heard again on Monday, Dec. 5. The proposed free bus pass model would require those who wish to ride on Albuquerque transit to present a photo ID or free bus pass with tracking information on it. Application for the free pass would also require photo ID, with a nonrenewable 30-day pass available to those without a photo ID. The new fare would be set at $1 for buses and $2 for the Sun Van Paratransit Service for those who do not or cannot obtain the bus pass.
Raúl Torrez will serve as the 32nd attorney general of New Mexico. Torrez defeated opponent Jermey Micheal Gay during the 2022 midterm elections. The attorney general is in charge of “enforcement of consumer protection and antitrust laws, prosecution of criminal appeals and some complex white-collar crimes, training, and certification of peace officers, and most natural resource and environmental matters,” according to the New Mexico attorney general website. Torrez was absent from the New Mexico Democratic Watch Party due to illness, but Taylor Bui, his campaign manager, was there representing him.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected for her second term as governor of New Mexico, beating out Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti with 52% of the vote. “We never forget who we are and we don’t turn our backs on people who are different from us. Tonight, I am so proud of New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. The governor race pitted incumbent Lujan Grisham against former network television meteorologist Ronchetti; he ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2020, coming within six percentage points against Democratic candidate Ben Ray Lujan.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, midterms dawned on New Mexico, and Democratic candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver emerged victorious in the 2022 secretary of state race over Republican opponent Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo. Toulouse Oliver has served as the secretary of state since 2016; this will be her second term. Toulouse Oliver was unable to be in person at the event due to her duties as the current secretary of state. However, her campaign manager Dylan McArthur was there to represent her.
On Nov. 8, Democratic candidate Melanie Stansbury was reelected to serve in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, beating her opponent, Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes. The 1st District serves the central area of New Mexico, including most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County, parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties, and most of Albuquerque. This makes it the largest congressional district in New Mexico. At the New Mexican Democratic watch party at The Clyde Hotel, Stansbury celebrated her win and gave a speech for her supporters and fellow Democrats.
Democratic incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard was reelected as New Mexico's commissioner of public lands. Garcia Richard was up against Republican Jefferson Bryd and Independent write-in Larry Marker. Garcia Richard was the first woman to hold the position and oversaw the growth of the budget during her last term, acording to Garcia Richard’s website. She pushed for the use of solar and wind for energy, and she has served in the New Mexico House of Representatives for District 43, before becoming the public lands commissioner. At the Democratic watch party in Albuquerque, Garcia Richard addressed the crowd before her race was called. She spoke about the public lands office's achievements and her excitement for Democrats in the state.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, general obligations bond 3, providing $215,986,000 toward higher education in New Mexico, passed with 61% of the vote. This money will be distributed among colleges, universities, specialty schools and tribal institutions across the state, with $89.2 million going to the University of New Mexico. With the money, UNM’s two main projects are the creation of a new children’s psychiatric center at the UNM Health Sciences Center and a new center for the arts — dubbed the Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology — on main campus. They also plan to make infrastructural improvements to the four branch campuses in Valencia, Gallup, Taos and Los Alamos, according to UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair.